PredPol @ Tacoma
In a move out of Minority Report, one police precinct in Tacoma, Washington will now begin an increased-surveillance, federal-funded, crime prediction program. The software that they will deploy to analyze and predict crime is named PredPol and stands for ‘Predictive Policing’. It is meant to predict the likelihood of any given crime being committed within a 500-square-foot-area, based on the people which frequent that area. It knows who you are through gait analysis and facial recognition. It also computes sociological data on the citizenry as well, it seems.
According to the company website, the “PredPol Difference” is this:
In contrast to technology that simply maps past crime data, PredPol applies advanced mathematics and adaptive computer learning. It has resulted in predictions twice as accurate as those made through existing best practices by building on the knowledge and experience that already exists.
It’s about catching bad guys using computers! Now who wouldn’t like that, right?
Well, these guys apparently: The Barefoot Bandit Brigade.
On the 13th of February the BBB took down 17 cameras from around Seattle. Many of these were apparently pointing, not towards the coast for observation and protection of Puget Sound waters, as advertised, but towards the land. Towards the People, that is. Whoops! Messed that one up, didn’t you guys? (It was a mistake in the installation process, I’m told.)
This vandalism or what have you was also, in part, a reaction to the continued detention of the ‘Grand Jury Resisters’, ostensibly Anarchist activists who protested the grand jury process by remaining silent. Read more about this here. Very interesting to note that Grand Juries can strip you of your 5th amendment right to remain silent or not provide self-incriminating evidence. You have to speak (lest you be thrown into the terrorist slammer apparently!) … Now back to the BBB.
So this dude and his friends in the BBB dismantled and stole 17 expensive spy cameras. I don’t think they liked the Puget Sound surveillance system very much… So I wonder how folks will respond to PredPol in Tacoma now (which is roughly connected to Seattle). Maybe we’ll all decide to just let the program do its thing there as a way to say thank you to the government for being so open and transparent about what it’s doing and who it’s watching this time around. Yeah, we’ll see about that, right?
Either way I must say I am not surprised that Anonymity is being targeted for elimination to such an extent: although this example is Canadian, I think it helps to paint the picture well in that you can be thrown in jail for 10 years if you wear a mask while protesting. Basically, if you can’t catch guys like these in the BBB, you can’t really catch anyone can ya? Better call in the reinforcements!
Watch out Tacoma. Ash is comin’ — and he appears to be wielding some new Master Balls..!